5 On Your Side

Anxiety, stress, depression: Here's where to find help

Posted September 30, 2020 11:23 a.m. EDT
Updated September 30, 2020 6:13 p.m. EDT

We’re all feeling it.

2020 has been a year of stresses and sadness, and it’s taking a toll on mental health.

The pandemic alone caused an increase in depression and anxiety.

5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte shares options that are available to help.

Like so many other things, therapists are taking their work online.

“Since mid-March, I have shifted my practice to strictly via video or telephone,” said therapist Eli Nowak.

He’s seen an increase in the number of people needing help with pandemic-related stress.

"It has been extremely challenging for most if not all of the people I have worked with," said Nowak.

Many experts agree that online therapy is worth considering.

“Numerous studies have shown that teletherapy can be as effective as in-person care. And it can offer patients more scheduling flexibility, convenience, privacy and a bigger pool of potential therapists,” says Rachel Rabkin Peachman with Consumer Reports.

Start your search by asking your primary care doctor for a referral or ask family or friends.

Look on your health insurer’s website for a list of therapists covered under your plan.

Websites, including the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association, can also help.

To get the most out of a virtual session, it’s important you’re comfortable with the therapist.

So ask about the person’s years in practice, specialties, therapy techniques and their fee.

If money is tight, there are free options.

“You can call 211 or visit 211.org for a referral to a provider who offers support at no cost or on a sliding scale based on your budget," says Rabkin Peachman.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK, or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

It’s anonymous, and you can speak with a trained mental-health professional for free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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